Research and Innovation perspective of the mid – and long-term Potential for Advanced Biofuels in Europe
Ecorys et al.
for EC DG Research and Innovation
“With successful R&I and attainment of the 2050 EU targets, advanced biofuels could achieve (i) close to a 50% share of the overall transport sector energy mix […]” (Quote from the abstract of the report).
Full text of the report’s abstract:
“Research and Innovation (R&I) plays a central role in developing advanced biofuels technologies to help achieve the EU’s climate and energy targets. This study examines the R&I potential for feedstock production, advanced biofuels production, and use of advanced biofuels. The study quantifies R&I potential under future scenarios where EU targets are met. Improving feedstock supply and reducing conversion costs through research and innovation resulting in an increase of feedstock availability by 40-50%, will contribute to the development of advanced biofuels. With successful R&I and attainment of the 2050 EU targets, advanced biofuels could achieve (i) close to a 50% share of the overall transport sector energy mix, (ii) achieving 330 Mt of net emission savings, in case they replace fossil fuels, or 65% of the required emission savings needed, compared to 1990 levels, in order to meet the target of the transport sectors emissions by 60%1, (iii) a market volume of 1.6% of EU’s GDP, and (iv) significantly improve energy security. This would result in a net increase of 108000 jobs, even taking into account the 11000 jobs reduction in fossil fuel sectors and the reduced employment in other sectors, without impacting negatively EU’sGDP. This is a particularly noteworthy positive impact, considering that it mainly comes from the substitution of currently existing energy demands.
In the extreme case of a transition to an energy system relying heavily on advanced biofuels, achieving EU targets would put considerable pressure on feedstock availability, driving up feedstock prices. Yet, in a system characterized by a balanced energy mix with several renewable options and an important role for advanced biofuels, R&I plays a paramount role in both (i) safeguarding the amount of affordable sustainable biomass and (ii) improving the efficiency of the whole biomass to biofuel process chain, needed for the transition to a bioenergy system. The transition could take more than 15-20 years and require substantial efforts and extensive coordination between stakeholders.”
The report can be downloaded here.
A sub-report of this project tackles the issue of biomass production potential for transport fuels. This sub-report can be downloaded here.
More information on the publication website of EC DG Research and Innovation.